For the past twelve years I’ve been working in this forest, helping others to see their way out. The work is called Family Constellation Work. It is a group process that uses representatives to stand in for past or existing family members. By moving representatives physically into the circle, we are able to make visible what has been invisible. The constellation is profound, often moving, and sometimes uncanny in its ability to show us how to release old, non-useful patterns.
The first constellation I stood in as a representative was for a woman who said that she and her two sons could not hold on to their money. They made money—they just didn’t seem to keep it. This was my first time viewing a constellation being set up and worked on. The facilitator was a German who later became my teacher.
But let me tell you what the woman learned from setting up her own constellation. It turned out that her grandfather was a rancher during the depression era. He was a smart guy who managed to keep his ranch when all around him others were failing. He began to buy up his neighbors ranches for a dirt cheap price. His ranch grew and prospered. The more his neighbors failed, the more he succeeded. He built his enormous ranch based on the losses of others. Now, two generations later, his grandsons cannot hang onto their money. As we watched the constellation unfold, we learned that the grandsons do not have the right to “atone” for the actions of their grandfather. A series of movements were made within the constellation that released the grandsons from this past action.
In a more recent workshop that I was facilitating, I worked with this beautiful 17-year-old girl who had been given almost more than she could handle from life. The first young love of her life was murdered. After he died, she discovered that she was pregnant, but the baby was a tubular pregnancy–she lost the child. In 12 years of doing this work, I have never seen such a young soul quite that frozen in grief. It raises goosebumps on my arms just to recall it. In my early interview with her—every constellation begins with a fact finding mission—she said that she was cold throughout her body, that she could never seem to get warm. She also said that she has absolutely no sympathy or compassion for anybody.
This constellation was very difficult—and she was so brave to decide to do it. She (her representative) faced her lost love and the lost child within the safe field of the constellation. An enormous amount of rage rushed out, and then tears, and then love, and then release. It was amazing to watch. I think that the coldness of her body was coming from her trying to follow her love and lost child into death.
How many of our young suicides are actually the person following a loved one into death? I can’t answer that question, but my experience with constellation work tells me it is probably more than we can imagine.
Those of you who have not yet seen the depth and authenticity of this way of working with the generational wounds of a family may want to look for an opportunity to attend a demonstration. We know from experience that any explanation of how this work unfolds and its potential to heal ancient (and current) wounds is just too difficult to explain. The work itself best demonstrates the work. There is also no way to explain the “high” that comes when the release happens and love again is flowing in the core of the family. We all gain something from the work of others.
Essentially, Family Constellation Work is the best of family systems science coming together with the deeper soul of the family itself. Our goal is to introduce myself and this work into your area in preparation of future workshops. You have probably been sent this invitation by a friend, family member, or colleague. This is a no risk event. We will take donations (no set charge) and thank you when you bring friends along to experience this powerful way of working
Please feel free to share this message with others who you feel may be ready to find the sturdy trees standing in their family forest. We hope that you can join us.